For families with children, the Norwich Terrier makes an ideal pet as it is wonderful with kids and extremely people-oriented. Little in size but huge on spirit and affection, this is one dog breed that is not only cute as a button, but easily trainable, happy, and eager to please. Originating in England as a working terrier in the late 1800s, the Norwich Terrier is absolutely adorable for those who enjoy pets that are feisty, friendly, energetic, and most of all, lovable.
Norwich Terrier’s History
Sharing much of its history with the Norfolk Terrier, the Norwich Terrier is one of the younger breeds which exists today, originating in the late 19th century in East Anglia, England. Often called a "ratting" terrier, undergraduates at Cambridge University who were into sporting engaged in a popular fad of owning the breed during the 1880s. It is believed that several breeds contributed to the development of the Norwich Terrier, including the Irish Terrier.
The Norwich Terrier was recognized by the AKC in 1936, a breed with two types of ear carriage, the drop-ear and prick-ear. In 1979, the two were separated into different breeds, drop-eared dogs becoming the Norfolk Terrier, and prick-eared dogs the Norwich Terrier. The Norwich Terrier Club of America was established in January of 2009.
Norwich Terrier’s Appearance
This tiny dog typically weighs about 10 to 12 pounds as an adult, and stands about 10 inches tall. Your puppy will have a compact body but is a hardy breed. Usually red, black and tan, wheaten or grizzle, this dog has a double coat and prick ears that stand up pertly. With a short head and dark eyes that sparkle beneath slight eyebrows, the Norwich Terrier puppy’s coat has a soft, downy undercoat that insulates him from cold temperatures, and a hard, wiry topcoat that is typically straight, creating a mane-like appearance around the neck and shoulders. Hair on the head area, muzzle, and ears is short.
Norwich Terrier’s Temperament
Affectionate, alert, and intelligent, this breed usually loves everyone, but will bark if he or she sees or senses something unfamiliar in the vicinity of the home. That said, once your dog realizes someone unfamiliar is not a threat to himself or the family, he will easily become fast friends. Because of his affectionate, friendly nature, the Norwich Terrier is an ideal pet for those with children or other pets.
A bit independent, your pet will be at his or her best behavior when trained at an early age. This is a dog that simply enjoys life, having fun, and pleasing his owner. Although the Norwich Terrier is a very small dog, don't let his sweet disposition and cuteness charm you into coddling him or overindulging his whims, as this could potentially lead to behavior problems—especially a very difficult situation called “Small Dog Syndrome.” This is a problem that develops when the pet is treated like a baby instead of a dog, encouraging behavior that is spoiled, selfish, and even snappish.
Energetic and full of life, this is a breed that can seemingly eat his or her own weight in food, and is not a picky eater. Should you decide the Norwich Terrier is an ideal breed for you, be sure to protect your hamsters, gerbils and other rodent pets, as these smaller animals may be mistaken for prey by the Terrier.
Norwich Terrier’s Proper Environment
Whether you are an apartment dweller or live in a large home with a spacious yard, this is a pet that will enjoy either environment. Because of his small size, your pet will be fairly active indoors, but taking him or her on a daily walk is also encouraged so that your pet gets sufficient diversion outside.
The more active your dog can be, the better, as this is a breed which was bred for a working life. At least an hour of activity each day is recommended, but try to vary the routine if you take your pet on a daily walk as repetitive routes can become boring. If this breed were able to speak, it's likely it would say that farm living is what it prefers, where there's plenty of room to run, dig, explore – and yes, chase rats.
Norwich Terrier’s Health
Epilepsy and breathing problems are two of the most serious health issues for the Norwich Terrier, both of which are inherited. Medication can usually control epilepsy; however, dogs that are affected should not be used for breeding purposes. Collapsing tracheas and elongated soft pallets are two abnormalities that may cause breathing problems.
While hip and knee problems occur less frequently in the Norwich Terrier than in the Norfolk and other dog breeds, it is still recommended that you screen for these conditions. Because of its small size, this breed isn't as prone to the orthopedic problems often seen in larger dogs.
Norwich Terrier’s Grooming
Because the Norwich Terrier has two coats, it must be combed frequently. During seasons when your pet is not prone to shedding, combing with a steel comb every few days is sufficient to remove loose hair and prevent matting. It's also advised that you "strip" the coat twice per year, which will keep your pet's coat looking neat. Without stripping, the coat will look scruffy and unkempt.
Stripping is simply pulling out the dead topcoat either through the use of a stripping tool, or by hand. Bathing on a regular basis is not necessary; once or twice per year is sufficient unless your pet rolls in something unpleasant. While trimming your dog's coat instead of stripping may be acceptable, trimming or clipping can negatively affect appearance and does not maintain the "rolling" coat.
Group Classification: Terrier
Country of Origin: N/A
Date of Origin: N/A
Shedding: Lite Shed
Body Size: N/A
Weight M: 11-12 pounds
Height M: 9-10 inches
Weight F: 11-12 pounds
Height F: 9-10 inches
Litter Size: 2-3 puppies
Life Expectancy: 12-16 years
Recognized By: CKC, FCI, AKC, ANKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
Red (all shades), Black/Tan, Gray. White marks are considered unacceptable by the AKC breed standard.
Like many terriers, the Norwich Terrier is at its best in an urban setting, surrounded by people. Because of the breed's inherent energy (and because of its genetic predisposition for hunting and chasing small rodents), the Norwich Terrier will also do well in suburban areas with enough yard space for running, playing, and chasing, but as a rule the dogs won't be as happy in larger rural areas or in any area with a great deal of local wildlife.